Obama’s escalation of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan starting by the end of this month (with more to come) at an average cost of $1 million per troop per year (not including the cost of military contractors), when Americans are losing jobs, businesses, homes, college educations, infrastructure and health insurance at an alarming rate, going into debt to foreign countries to do so (especially after eight years of illegal war insanity and failure by the Bush administration) is so wrong on its face that one must look to what possible benefit beyond the rhetoric of “fighting terror” such insanity could have back home.
The only logical explanation for Obama maintaining Bush’s military empire-building policy (with the exception of protecting coveted real estate for a future pipeline across Afghanistan, as if such a thing could ever be successfully protected in such an area) is that maintaining such debt-ridden and insane levels of military commitments around the world is a jobs bill, a huge jobs bill, for anyone in one of the most lucrative industries in the world (if not the most lucrative): supplying the Pentagon.
It is also, of course, a huge investment vehicle for tens of thousands of well-heeled investors who don’t care if their stocks and profits are from the destruction of innocent lives, the killing of innocent people, from the looting of poor countries for their resources. These are the “Bloody Americans,” investors in what I call the “Red Square Investment Program” (red for Republican-controlled “red” states on the election map, most of which have huge military bases and defense contractor’s operations, with of course, dozens of Republican representatives and senators in their pockets).
The American war industry is the gorilla in the room (or should I say the bull in the room, to borrow a term from Wall Street), an out-of-control beast that owns our major media outlets, that runs it’s own “false flag” attacks both at home and abroad, that owns the allegiance if not the very souls of countless high-level decision-makers in our country.
With the bursting of the criminal Republican-created and ignored financial bubble in ’08, with unemployment at levels not seen since the 1930s, with less opportunity and hope for our young people than ever before, it’s no wonder military recruitment is up — to our desperate youth, a job is a job. Most of these young people have simply not had the time or interest to research for themselves the profit motives that run our modern military engagements. All they know is that they’ll have a job. Maybe the one they were promised by the recruiters. And maybe an education paid for — if they are fortunate enough to return home alive and in good enough shape to be able to pursue higher education.
That’s a lot of “ifs,” but a job’s a job.
As I attended a rally last week to protest Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan, I couldn’t help but notice that at a shopping center where the military had a high-profile “Military Career Center”(the title on the building, but of course it was actually a recruitment center), there was a drill sergeant leading a dozen or so new recruits through marching drills in a high-visibility part of the parking lot (well in view of drivers leaving the shopping center via a main exit).
Obviously to promote how popular the military is with our teenagers. The problems I realized, with parking-lot military drills (with plain-clothed teens) were that;) The protesters had asked permission from the shopping center to picket outside the recruitment center and were denied by the property owners/managers, but the marching drills were allowed; and b) there is a National Guard armory less than half a mile away from the “Military Career Center” that can be used for such drills (but with no publicity value).
With every other ad on radio stations and during major sporting events on TV promoting how cool it is to kill innocent people and get paid for it, with every paycheck from an oil services or other military supplier or manufacturing company that is cashed every week, with every dividend check that is deposited in an account from the profits made from an investment in the stock of a defense contractor or supplier, I think of the influence of the American war economy and how many jobs and votes it controls.
I think of the Blood Money Jobs Bill that is the Obama escalation in Afghanistan, and of the blood-money-rich investors who own stock in the American War economy, and how it is they can sleep at night.
With the suicide rate among veterans (from all recent wars) currently at 18 per day, with the attempted suicide rate among veterans at many hundreds per day, and with the pain and suffering of families and communities with maimed and psychologically damaged citizens among them due to the trauma inflicted by time spent in the military, when there has not been one justified war that America has been involved in since WWII, these people who are profiting off America’s blood money economy that is the bloated and wasteful Pentagon “empire-building” insanity are not real Americans in my book.
These are the bloody Americans — denial-ridden, attack-oriented, war-mongering leeches on society, who, among all of the above atrocities, are denying America the allocation of vital economic resources that we need to spend on rebuilding here at home.
To those in the red states and in many other “military socialist enclaves” in America, blood money means jobs and profits. Well, good for them, I guess.
It’s just a shame that we let them vote.
Justin Markman is a resident of Ventura.